Race Jase

Latest posts by Race Jase

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Sub 3

Posted: 10/10/2015 at 09:31
16 marathons that is not 16 over distance!

Sub 3

Posted: 10/10/2015 at 09:30
Uninjured not uninsured! Although that may be recommended.

Sub 3

Posted: 10/10/2015 at 09:29
Thanks for the comments folks.

Tom as others have suggested you have a lot of pace already so you could be in for a top debut.

And re the P&D schedule it has plenty of long and medium long runs (and they're not easy because of the pace). The schedule is brilliant for getting you in optimum marathon shape. I followed the up to 85mpw one to the letter and it got me a sub 2:30. And yes it has a few runs over 20. Nothing excessive but for a first one as TR aludes to its all about reaching the startling fit and uninsured. P&D is such a well balanced plan and I couldn't recommend it highly enough for someone likeyourself who clearly has some running talent and is tackling their first marathon.

Maybe after you've done a couple then start thinking about what bits really work for you and whether full/over distance are necessary. I get a lot of comfort out of doing a couple over/full distance but I have done 16 of them now so know what works best for me and importantly what I can get away with!

Sub 3

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 09:14

My initial reaction is one of simple relief that after all I'd been through in the last 12k I had still managed to PB! As the minutes pass I see Andrew Leveson (2:25:37 - also had stomach issues but from very early on), Dave Archer (2:25:40 - a solid time for a first proper effort at the distance) and Andrew Challenger (2:26:07 - a sizable and well deserved PB after some great training).

It was then back to the hotel for a quick shower and back out to the pub where a big group of us got stuck into another kind of marathon. One things for sure I'm not that good at pacing a marathon involving beer.                         It was fantastic to relive all the war stories of the day, including some great PBs from most in attendance. I was delighted to hear first hand of John Gilbert's great run (2:15:49) as well as those from Jonathan Poole (2:20:38), Phil Sanders (2:30:30), Paul Griffiths (2:31:59), Stuart Beaney (2:38:37) and Thomas Musson (2:48:38). Ben Martin-Dye had also had a Wunderbar time (2:54:19) trotting leisurely around the German capital.

Race Reflections

Now it has all sunk in a bit I am still proud of how I had dug in so deep to eek out a PB with the hand I was dealt on race day. Of course I am a little frustrated that my body let me down with the stitch which prevented me from going as quick as I believe I should have. I honestly think it probably cost me at least 60-90seconds, maybe a little more. In fact my legs have never felt so good after a marathon and I do think that it's because I simply couldn't push them to the absolute limit! That said I was still always conscious of my glute and hamstring issues throughout the race so if I can get that resolved then I should be running smoother and quicker still.

Whilst this whole 20 week build up started with the loose arbitrary goal of going sub 2:20 as race day approached in a strange way I didn't really know whether I was capable of a sub 2:20 time. Indeed I had decided sensibly to race the race as it came and with the fitness I found myself in on the day. Obviously I didn't manage to go sub 2:20 on the day, but I am now more confident than ever that I definitely do, in fact whilst one should never take anything for granted in athletics (anything in fact?!) I believe I can go quite a bit quicker than that. But first and for the next 12-18 months I am going to focus on getting much quicker over the shorter distances as that should translate to quicker marathon times in the future. I'm pleased to say that I am also formally going to start working with Mike Baxter as my coach as I have thoroughly enjoyed his support and guidance of recent months and if there's a bloke in the sport that knows how to toughen folks up it's him!

Thanks to anyone that has followed my inane blog over this period (and to Hania for putting up with me!). I'm sure I'll keep the blog going with periodic postings but for now it's back to the drawing board - big plans are afoot.

Sub 3

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 09:14


As we go through 30k I find myself becoming detached from the group I’m in and
can’t quite get back to them. It’s a very strange experience because I don’t
feel that tired and my legs feel OK but within just a few hundred metres I have
developed an agonising stitch which really starts to affect my form and ability
to keep pace. I try not to panic and keep at it. I was telling myself it was
just a rough patch and it would soon pass. The truth is I have never suffered a
stitch in a marathon before and didn’t know how to deal with it at the time.
Frustratingly it didn’t really ease off completely at all from now until the
end. I just got my head down and ran as hard as I could given the discomfort I
was in. 5k in 17:08 (5:31mm)so I had slowed a lot in that section but given how
far up I was still confident of getting a big PB. 35k in 1:56:46.

35k – 40k

As I reach the 35k mark I’m now starting to see if I can reel anyone in that is
dropping off the back of the group I was in and do go past a few but I’m
hurting a lot and know I'm slower still. There's just so much discomfort that I
feel like I’m running like Pheobe from Friends! It's amazing how quickly a race
can turn around. Despite going past a few folks my head is starting to drop
because try as I might I know my pace is slipping a lot, my watch confirms it.
5k split in 17:33(5:39mm!) to 40k in 2:14:19.

40k - finish

I do a quick calculation in my head and realise that even the chance of a PB is
slipping now. How could that be? I was so confident just a few short miles ago
that I was going to obliterate it and possibly get under the magic 2:20. I had
caught a guy up within the previous 5k and now it was going to be a race to the
bitter end. We could work off each other to push each other to the finish. This
was a different kind of marathon pain than I'm used to but I simply was not
prepared to let myself not PB. I hadn't worked this hard and put all that work
in, not to get a PB. Racing toe to toe with this guy I think helped as we
really raced each other to the line. I managed to pick up the pace a little for
this section 7:32 (5:31mm), 42.195k in 2:21:51 (5:24mm) and a PB by a whopping
21 seconds!

Sub 3

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 09:14

15-20k (and halfway)

Again a very unmemorable part of the race as things are just ticking along
really nicely and feeling like I have a great rhythm. I’m enjoying having the
benefit of the lead car that leads the elite ladies which is giving helpful km
splits and a projected finish time. The projected finish time is gradually
coming down into the mid 2:20:xxs which is nice. 5k passed in 16:35 (5:20mm).
20k in 1:06:33 and then halfway in 70:10. At this point I’m thinking wow it’s
on I really do have a great chance of sub 2:20 if I can stay strong and keep
with this brilliant group. I am getting reassuring readings from my HR monitor
which confirm I’m working far less hard than I have done at a similar point in
any marathon to date.

20k – 25k

During this period we catch up with Jonathan Poole, a guy that runs for the
Serpentine club in London. I follow him on Strava and knows he’s in good shape.
He asked me if we’d picked up the pace, I said maybe slightly but I think
mainly he was worried that he had slowed. We crack on and still I feel
effortless. I have another gel just after halfway and again this is fine. It is
a great experience running along with the elite ladies. Two genuinely World
Class athletes, running sublimely alongside me! It really is surreal thinking
back to just a few years ago when I got ‘hands on knees’ tired at climbing a
broken escalator at St Paul's Underground once! 5k passed in 16:34 (5:20mm) and
25k in 1:23:07.


It is in this stage of the race that I tend to think about what sort of finish
time I can be hopeful of. At this stage I am very confident, perhaps a bit
cocky that very close to or sub 2:20 is very much on as I definitely feel
easier than I have done at this point before. Sure it is becoming harder but I
still feel good and full of running. I have subsequently watched the full race
video on Youtube and there are various clips of me running with the lead
ladies. This seems to confirm how I was feeling at the time. I just look
incredibly strong. I then have a Powergel around 28k which is what they were
handing out on the course and at first it seems fine but shortly after my race
starts to go a little bit awry! 5k in 16:31 (5:19mm) so we have sped up a bit
and hit 30k in 1:39:38.

Sub 3

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 09:14

Race Report


Off we go and it takes me a few seconds to get over the startline. That’s fine
as it’ll mean I don’t hare off. Patience is the name of the game! Ideally I
would like to get settled in a group in this stage of the race and it takes me
until about 4K to catch up with the leading elite women who have a nice group
so decide to stick in with them. There had been some talk of them looking at
pushing for sub 2:20 so I figured if the effort felt OK then it would be good
to stick with them. That said I also knew that the two favourites Gladys
Cherono and Aberu Kebede were quite evenly matched so would likely be racing
for the win rather than going specifically for the time. Mike Baxter had
suggested that I look to split each 5k in around 16:40 so it was nice to see
the first one come in at 16:42 (5:22mm)


As we passed the 5k marker I find myself feeling incredibly easy and indeed
ended up floating off the front of the group with one other chap who seemed to
be working somewhat harder than me. As the course goes back through the centre
of Berlin this is a part of the course where there is quite a lot of support
but again I kept telling myself not to get carried away and to be patient.
Around the 10k mark I look back to see that the lead women are probably only
about 25 metres back and know that it makes sense to drop back in with them as
they’re clearly now operating at the same sort of pace as me and this other
chap so take the decision to drop back and jump on the train! 5k split of 16:34
(5:20mm) (10k in 33:16 – remember that 10k at Askern that was all out in 33:05?
This feels like I’m jogging relatively!)


This is a very unmemorable part of the race for me as I do my best to ‘sleep to
halfway’ and indeed the only thing of note really is that Gladys Cherono has
very sharp elbows as she tries to take me out as we go round a corner and she
nearly knocks me flying into some barriers. 5k split of 16:42 (5:22mm) and all
feeling very good. A wry grin comes on my face as I know I’m running really
well and feeling incredibly strong and looking good for a PB. I take a gel at
11k which settles nicely. 15k in 49:58.

Sub 3

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 09:13

In a way I was pleased when it was finally
acceptable for me to get out of bed and go in search of coffee! I went down to
the hotel lobby but their coffee machine was broken. This whole thing seemed
destined to failure. I then ventured out but wasn’t hopeful of finding anywhere
that would sell a decent coffee. Luckily I found one without too much problem
at a bakery a short walk down the road. The lady behind the counter almost
seemed angry that I’d come in to purchase something though. Despite my very
best ‘Guten Tag, eine kaffee mit milch bitte.’ She looked at me like I had
asked her to go to Columbia to harvest the beans herself.

Got down to the start via U-Bahn and I was struck how cold it was, so took the
decision to wear my gloves. I stupidly hadn’t actually packed a top to keep me
warm that I could easily discard at the start which was a bit of a schoolboy.
Anyway, jogged for a bit, did a couple of half-hearted strides, relieved my
bladder for the fourteenth time that day before finally taking my spot on the
start line. Then my Garmin decided it didn’t want to latch on to a satellite
signal so with rousing music blaring through the speakers and about 30 seconds
to go I was still frantically waving my arm about in the air like a former
German dictator.

Sub 3

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 09:13

I flew out to Berlin on Friday and met up with
Dave Archer and Andrew Challenger (Hallamshire Harriers) at the airport who
were both racing. Andrew was hoping to take a sizable PB and Dave was running
effectively his first (although he did do one when he first started running but
it didn’t really count apparently). It was great chatting to the guys to hear
how things had gone in the build-up and just general chewing the running fat.

Picked up my number with not too many issue on Friday evening although they
make you walk just about 26 miles to get your number just to make sure you
don’t go in under trained. The whole expo thing does cheese me off a bit to be
honest. It’s basically the biggest shop for running related stuff you could
ever possibly imagine. The last thing I want to be doing 24-48 hours before a
marathon is spending hours walking around looking at running stuff that I could
buy on the other 364 days of the year.

On Saturday morning I did my last pre-race run which took in a bit of the
course including a little MP test to see how it felt on the streets that I
would be racing the very next day. Thankfully it felt great and I knew I was
ready to go.

Much of Saturday was then just spent hanging around waiting, thinking and
planning how I was to approach my race. To be honest it didn't take much
thinking about as the plan was simple; run as well I can and always think about
how the effort feels. Not be scared to push on but importantly not be scared to
hold back. Patience was going to be the name of the game. I even wrote it on my
hand the morning of the race to remind myself! The goal was as always just to
be the best as I could be on the day. Outside of this I met up with friend and
runner Andrew Leveson for coffee who was also racing and hoping for 2:23:30.
Then in the evening I went out for a bit of pasta with a couple of other guys
Ben Martin-Dye, Keith Russell, and Keith’s mate Dave. Ben was running but he
had decided to have it as a jolly having not done much training over recent months
having got married in the summer. He did entertain the thought of running round
the streets of Berlin waving a big rubber Bratwurst to gee up the faithful but
settled on a running in a pair of very tight-fitting lederhosen instead. Keith
had trained and indeed spent some time in Kenya getting into great shape but
unfortunately through a sequence of bad luck meant injury and illness he had
taken the wise decision to pull out.

As ever I wanted to make sure I got as much sleep as possible before the race but
know now that this is unlikely. I got to bed around 9pm and dropping off about
10:30 so if all went well I would get about 7 hours before going through my
usual pre-race morning routine. I woke up some time later feeling like I hadn’t
had much but was expecting the clock to say something after 3:00am so at least
four hours which wouldn’t be ideal but OK! I was shocked to see the clock say
23:56! And I felt wide awake. I knew I was then in for a rough night of trying
to trick myself back to sleep. Nothing would work. As the night wore on, I gave
up and started to read my book hoping that it would send me off to sleep. It
didn't work, so I thought I’d catch up on the previous week’s Question Time
which I’d downloaded to the iPlayer. Listening to Elizabeth Truss of the
Conservative party allowed me to drop off for 20 minutes, so at least that’s
one thing to be thankful to the Tories for. I soon woke up again though and
there was nothing left for it but to accept I was unlikely to get any more
quality sleep so decided to watch the latest episode of Great British Bake Off.

Sub 3

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 09:13

As Leve hasn't yet finished off his race report I thought some of you may be interested to read oine that is likely a little bit shorter and probably a lot more mundane than his  will be.


This was my standard taper week, seeing a massive reduction in miles with a
smattering of quality to keep reminding the legs that they were going to need
to run quite quickly on the Sunday. There’s a fair bit of preamble/waffle below
so if you just want to get straight to the race go to paragraph 12.

I have to say I do find this last week a real battle mentally. There is the
anticipation and excitement of the big event coming up that you’ve focused on
and trained so hard for but there’s also the doubts that start creeping in
about how big a challenge you have ahead of you. I said in my blog following
the GNR that I was unsure of how I could possibly run twice the distance in a
slightly quicker pace. Those thoughts were further amplified this week! At
least when you’re in full training you have the reassurance of running every
day that you’re doing something that will contribute to your success. In these
last few days all you can think of is how unfeasible the whole challenge is!
The only respite you get is when you go out on those few short runs to try and
give you a bit of confidence but then the doubts creep back in shortly after
you’re home and hosed.

As ever I did the carb deplete focusing on trying to rid my muscles of any
remaining glycogen in the muscle. This leaves one even more irritable than
normal and in a way contributes to the catastrophic thoughts of impending doom
that one can have! I have to thank Hania for being solid as a rock for me
through this few days as I knew it would get better as soon as I started
consuming the carbs! The runs actually went well, including 2 miles hard on
Wednesday morning despite running on empty. This gave me confidence that my
body was clearly adapted so well to fat burning as I could still maintain MP
despite there being literally no sugar in my system. A positive sign.

Then to the carb load, which was enjoyable for all of about 6 hours, after
consuming my 16th slice of banana Soreen for the day! Oh well crack on, it’s
only three days of gorging myself on high carb, low fat and it will do me good.

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